About Hendrick Mommers
Haarlem circa 1623 – 1693 Amsterdam
Mommers specialised in Italianate market scenes.
At the start of his career he must have travelled to Italy, and possibly also when living in Amsterdam, so between 1665 and 1693.
In 1647 he became member of the Painter's Guild of Saint Luke of his hometown Haarlem. He is mentioned for the last time in Haarlem in 1665.
In 1665 he moved to Amsterdam, where he died in 1693.
He was a pupil of the famous Italianate painter Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem.
He was the master of Dirk Maes and of Richard Brakenburgh.
About our painting
Italy attrackted a lot of Dutch and Flemish artists during the 17th century.
They came to study the ruins of Roman culture, to marvel at the magnificent towns, landscapes and nature, they were impressed by how different life was in Southern Europe. Some went for a “short” time before returning back to the Low Countries, others (especially later, in the 2nd half of the 17th century) remained in Italy and did not return (for example the vedute painter Caspar van Wittel, also known as Gaspare Vanvitelli). I should also mention those artists who did not make the journey, but who, inspired by paintings, engravings and descriptions of those who had gone, created their own fantasized italy back home (for example Charles de Hooch).
Mommers, who at some stage must have travelled to Italy, specialised in these market scenes: women selling their vegetables against the background of some church, a monument, a town or village view. These exotic scenes must have been popular in Holland.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because it is an agreable scene testimoning of the early love for Italy in Northern Europe.